Australia has a non-discriminatory immigration policy, which means that anyone from any country can apply to migrate, regardless of their ethnic origin, gender, race or religion.

Migration to Australia is dependent on the applicant's ability to meet the migration criteria of the day, which are established to meet Australia's national interest and needs.

There are different criteria for the various visa categories, and all migrants must meet Australia's rules on health and character.

Migrants are chosen from two broad categories - Skill Stream and Family Stream - while the Humanitarian Program caters for those people from refugee or refugee-like situations in urgent need of resettlement.

The total migrant intake in any one financial year is made up by adding together the Migration and Humanitarian Programs.

Note: New Zealand citizens are not included in these programs. The figures used in this section show the number of visas issued rather than the number of people who arrived to settle in Australia.